Festivities are around the corner, with Diwali in sight and many more festive occasions ahead it is the time of the year to splurge, socialize and celebrate commencing with Christmas and New Year. The weather is lovely and cold and the smell of fresh coffee and the sweetness of mithais and desserts is welcoming. The festival of lights brings with it the most beautiful moments as we meet our friends and family, exchange gifts, eat yummy sweets and snacks and celebrate. But this celebration and socializing may cause us to splurge a little too much, eat too many calorie and fat laden foods, break our routine of exercise and end up ruining all the efforts that we had put in for so many months to stay in shape and keep our weight and health in check. But don’t despair, a few simple steps if followed can sail you through the festive season without compromising with your health and emerge a winner.
1. Moderation is the key: Fatty foods, sweets and other fried snacks should be enjoyed in small amounts. Remember eating smaller portions is important. Indulge in the festivities but eat right at the right time and in the right amount.
2. Stay hydrated: While running errands, most of us forget to drink water. Low water intake can make one feel more tired and low on energy as this inhibits the absorption of other macro nutrients. This may intern increase your intake of fatty foods. So rush for lots of water before you stuff yourself with unhealthy food.
3. Choose the right goodies: Food is a symbol of hospitality and friendship throughout the world and Diwali is one festival, where we spend time with family and friends. Try and avoid ghee laden sweets. Set an example by sending hampers of fruits and dry fruits. Fruits are less calorie dense foods, dry fruits are a better choice of fats, and they also contain a good portion of protein and vitamins.
4. Pre-Diwali party: Pre-Diwali parties are something one can’t avoid and most parties are incomplete without alcohol and fried starters, rich gravies with cream. Eating a heavy meal and alcohol slows down the metabolism. Avoid this by eating light throughout the day, so you end up consuming lesser calories. In the night, before stepping out for a party eat a good meal. This will prevent you from binge eating. Also, limit your alcohol intake. Avoid mixing your drinks with juices and aerated waters, which only add to the sugar content and promote weight gain.
5. Exercise: More importantly, do not give up on your exercise schedules, in fact for days during Diwali and for a month after Diwali, increase the duration of your exercise by 15 minutes. It is better to stay active and fit and simultaneously keep the weight gain at bay.
6. Eat Small Frequent meals: Avoid consuming a huge meal at breakfast and lunch. Ideally, have more frequent meals, may be eight small meals to keep you going and elude the sugar surge.
7. Post Diwali: Many people resort to “Detoxification” and starve themselves to quickly lose those extra pounds gained during Diwali. It’s very important to understand your body here and first access the situation. Is it your weight gain due to extra food intake? Or is it puffiness and bloating due to lack of sleep, rest and less water intake? Or is it avoidance of regular exercise that has caused the weight gain. Detox in a rational manner instead of starving yourself.
8. Sleep well: A well rested body will ensure the right assimilation and absorption of food and hence this will lead to active digestibility and promote weight loss.
Following these simple steps and being conscious will ensure that festivals do not leave with you the baggage of excess weight and ill-health. Have a happy, healthy and prosperous Diwali and good times ahead.